Kirk Isenhour is the Executive Director of the Charitable Foundation at University Health KC (formerly TMC), an organization supported by United Way.
To Kirk, pride means – FULLY loving yourself so that you can love and care for others. “As young people who come out, we wrestle with the shame of being “less-than” in the eyes of our parents, our families and our communities. We feared loss of relationship and acceptance – but as we shed the shame and come into fully being ourselves; we gain PRIDE in being who we are! Pride is taking time to celebrate for many of us simply being WHO we ARE is worthy of celebrating!”
Kirk thinks the young leaders of tomorrow are coming out younger and prouder than in any time. “There is a generation who has grown up knowing and loving LGBTQIA+ parents, friends, aunts, uncles, teachers, pastors – and so seeing THOSE people being fully who they are makes kids more aware of their options. We must keep pushing forth to fight current ‘don’t say gay’ and anti-trans legislation so that kids growing up today CONTINUE to celebrate who they are with PRIDE!”